One early morning in June, I planned to ride my bicycle and capture bird photos. I awoke around 6 AM, loaded my trusty e-bike into the back of Bhavna's Acura, and drove off to Mercer Meadows, a scenic park with biking routes through 1600+ acres of meadows and woodlands. But I hit a snag.
As I unfolded my e-bike at the park, I suddenly realised I had forgotten the keys to the batteries. I removed the batteries to lighten the e-bike before lifting it into the trunk. Those keys were crucial for locking the batteries back in place. I was disappointed. But hey, no worries, right?
I was wandering through Mercer Meadows, enjoying the sweetness of the air. You know, that time of year when everything's in bloom, the sun's just peeking over the horizon, and the world's still quiet?
I had my Fuji X-T3 camera and Fujinon XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR lens, hoping to snap some pictures of birds, maybe a butterfly or two. I love that kind of stuff. But as I'm walking down this beaten path, I spot something out of the corner of my eye. There, in the grassy field, a flash of movement. My heart skipped a beat, thinking I'd spotted some rare bird. But no, it was something else.
I crept closer, trying not to spook whatever it was. And as I got nearer, I could see it clearer: a rabbit, just nibbling on some grass, ears perked up and nose twitching. My camera was ready, so I clicked away to capture the moment. But the whole time, I wondered: What kind of rabbit1? I might know something about birds, but I'm no rabbit expert. They all look pretty similar to me.
I must've spent a good half hour just watching this little guy, pondering the mysteries of rabbit identification. But it didn't matter. The sun was climbing higher, the dew was evaporating, and I was sharing a quiet morning with nature. Eventually, I moved on.
That rabbit, that meadow, that morning - they all told a story of life waking up and starting a new day. Sometimes, it's not about identifying every creature or capturing the perfect shot. Sometimes, it's just about being there, at the moment, and appreciating the simple beauty of life.
Who would've thought a little rabbit in Mercer Meadows could be so exciting? But that's the magic of early mornings. You never know what you might discover.
- I later discovered that the New England cottontail (Sylvilagus transitionalis) is the only rabbit native to New Jersey and is considered an important part of the state's natural heritage. This species has a distinct appearance with a short, fluffy tail and dense, coarse fur that provides effective camouflage. It also has large, rounded ears for detecting sounds and threats. ↩